helping individuals find their path

Our Team

WinGate was founded by a team of experienced wilderness therapists and treatment-industry leaders who were dissatisfied with the wilderness therapy programs currently available. Today our team of therapists and caring field staff are the best in the industry and have over 30 years of experience helping individuals find their path to a more fulfilled and purposeful life.

Blaine Fisher
Blaine Fisher

Program Director

With the exception of a two-year period in which Blaine spent performing service in Argentina, Blaine has worked continuously in the...

Michael Sanders
Michael Sanders

Field Director

Michael Sanders was first introduced to wilderness therapy and the power of natural medicine when his sister was enrolled as a student in...

Erin Grover
Erin Grover, LCSW, MSW, TRS, CTRS, SEP

Clinical Director

Erin Grover has spent the last 18 years helping individuals and families grow and make positive changes. During her 15 years in the...

Scott Hess
Scott Hess, MA, LMFT

Primary Therapist

Scott Hess began his career as a marriage and family therapist in 1996, working with juvenile sex offenders in locked facilities. That...

Kathy Ruiz
Kathy Ruiz, LCSW, RYT (she/they)

Primary Therapist

Kathy has extensive experience in experiential learning and therapy, starting her career over a decade ago working as a wilderness...

David Saldaña
David Saldaña, MSW, CSW

Primary Therapist

David Saldaña has been working in the field of therapy and mental health for 22 years, working in both wilderness and residential...

Ed Simons
Ed Simons, LCSW, BCD

Primary Therapist

Ed has spent the last 24 years helping individuals and families working with Utah's Family Preservation Program and as a combat...

Dale Christensen
Dale Christensen, MD

Medical Director

Dr. Dale Christensen has been practicing emergency medicine for over 15 years and is currently a staff physician at Utah Valley Regional...

Jake Roberts
Jake Roberts, APRN

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Jake's formal education consists of an AS Degree from Dixie State University, a BSN Degree from Southern Utah University, and a MSN...

Kyle Tolman
Kyle Tolman

Medical Director

A Utah-native, Kyle has spent his whole life in the wilderness, exploring the desert. If he didn't go exploring with his grandfather,...

Josh Gunalda
Josh Gunalda

Admissions Director

Josh has over 18 years of experience working in wilderness therapy. He began his career leading wilderness expeditions for adjudicated...

Crete Gallagher
Crete Gallagher

Director of Outreach

With several years of experience in residential treatment and lifelong exposure to wilderness programs, Crete contributes a unique and...

Teague Perkins
Teague Perkins

Social Media Director

Teague brings 9 years of wilderness therapy experience to the WinGate team. Teague was introduced to wilderness therapy as a student of...

Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson

Roots Intensives Director

Josh Nelson has a deep, and extensive background in wilderness therapy, having grown up around some of the very first wilderness...

Sarah Persha
Sarah Persha, M.A.

Parent Coaching Director

Sarah Persha, MA, joins Wingate Education in the expansion of parent and family services including Expanse, Roots, and Awakenings. As...